Green Friday and Sustainable, Ethical Christmas Shopping

green friday Oxfam dress

Workwear outfit
Dress – Oxfam Online
Boots – Toms
Bag – What Daisy did (upcycled leather)

This year as in previous years I ignored Black Friday in favour of Green Friday which is basically no different to any other Friday.

I have started to think about Christmas shopping but I already know what I want to get so have no interest in tempting myself to buy any more with discounts.

I am trying to scale back Christmas this year buying a lot less. With the presents that I do buy, I am trying to buy ethical, sustainable, minimal packaging and from local small businesses. I want Christmas to be about the experiences more than the presents so I am hoping we can have lots of fun times with family and friends instead of accumalating more stuff that we don’t really need. That said, I couldn’t not buy a little something for my family.

Here are some of the places that I have shopped online for Christmas presents.

  • Seasalt Cornwall – some lovely accessories including scarves and socks
  • Rapanui – organic cotton t shirts and hoodies as well as lots of other surf inspired clothing
  • Ethical Superstore – a fantastic range of home wear, clothing, accessories, food, you name it!
  • Luva Huva – beautiful lingerie and night wear
  • Etsy – so many beautifully handmade items!

I am also venturing out to the Christmas market in Bath in the hope of finding some nice handmade and unique gifts and locally made foods if I can cope with the hoards of people. I will let you know how I get on!

The picture above is my work outfit on Friday. I used to think dressing ethically and sustainably for work was difficult but I have now completely changed my mind. Oxfam online shop is my first port of call for amazing shift dresses. Which means I have been able to top up my work dresses even though I am on the non new clothes for a year challenge.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? where will you be shopping?


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Patagonia – Buying Less and Living More

Patagonia shirt

No new clothes for a year

Shirt – Patagonia
Hat – Ricefield Collective
Vest top – Fairtrade cotton (M&S)
Jeans – Oxfam 
Shoes –  Po-zu (Star Wars™ collection)

I am just back from a lovely week in Cornwall surfing, walking, spending time with the people that  matter most to me and eating and drinking a bit too much. This outfit is super comfy and warm, which just what I needed for the cold but sunny days. The shirt by Patagonia is quite a few years old and I believe was an item that I picked out to review back in 2012 (wow does time fly by!). Patagonia is a brand that I love for being poles apart from so many of the fast fashion brands. Why? because instead of encouraging their customers to buy more clothes, they encourage them to buy less and make them last. Patagonia’s mission: Build the best product, do no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. You can read more about it here. With their practical focus on  an outdoor lifestyle, Patagonia clothes are definitely about buying less and living more, something I am trying really hard to stick to.

Taking part in the no new clothes for  a year challenge has been a great way to appreciate the many clothes that I have already got in my wardrobe. Recent news stories have highlighted some major environmental issues of which fast fashion is a contributor. It is a big problem! British shoppers are buying twice as many clothes as they did ten years  ago. Not only is the fashion industry a major source of greenhouse gases that are contributing to climate change, landfill sites are filled with unwanted clothes and synthetic fibres from our clothing is washing into the oceans. Buying clothes that are only worn once or twice or even worse never at all seems like craziness especially when these clothes are made from synthetic fibres that will not biodegrade.

But it is so easy to get persuaded that you really need to buy something. In fact, I will have to admit, I haven’t managed to completely stick to the no new clothes challenge this year. I have bought a few new items over the summer. Proof of just how difficult it can be to change old habits. I will be ensuring that these clothes get plenty of wear and I have now renewed my focus again on buying less and living more with a big benefit that I spending less on clothes means I have more money to spend on enjoying myself.

Have the recent news stories about climate change and ocean plastics changed the way you shop?


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Sourced by Oxfam

Sourced by Oxfam
Tropical Leaf Necklace – Oxfam online
Dress – People Tree

I was recently sent this lovely necklace by Oxfam. I am a big fan of the Oxfam online shop for buying second hand clothing as you will have probbaly guessed from my previous #foundinOxfam posts but didn’t realise what a great selection of ethically made accessories they also sell in their ‘Sourced by Oxfam‘ section. I really liked the design of this necklace which is a collaboration with jewellery brand Lima Lima. Each piece of jewellery in the collection is handmade in Bristol, using real brass and a sterling silver plated chain.

The founder of Lima Lima is Rhi, a strong supporter of the slow fashion movement. She applies this ethos to her work carefully hand crafting each piece by hand using locally sourced and recycled materials wherever possible, and designs her pieces with longevity in mind. The ‘Sourced by Oxfam’ Collection also features tropical leaf bracelets and earrings aswell as a range of other beautifully handcrafted pieces of jewellery and accessories.

To celebrate world Friendship Day yesterday, Oxfam also have a lovely discount code which is valid until 3pm tommorrow! Details are below

20% OFF for you and your bestie
Share the love with code: FRIENDS20

30th July – 3pm 1st August 2018.
This offer is only valid for orders placed online.
Only valid for items priced £2.99-£200.
This offer excludes Bridal and Unwrapped items.
Oxfam reserves the right to end this promotion at any time.
Offer available subject to availability.

With warmest wishes


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#FoundinOxfam

foundinoxfam

Floral dress/ tunic – Oxfam (originally M&S)
Shoes – Clarks
Organic cotton leggings – Thought

Armed with some money that I have been given for my birthday and an excuse of needing newwork clothes to wear for my new job, I was just about to fail on my no new new clothes for a year challenge!

But…. I managed to pull myself back from the brink of disaster just in time with a quick visit to the Oxfam online shop where I found exactly what I needed for my new job and some more.The problem with clothes shopping is that you can always find a reason to buy something new if that is what you want.I had convinced myself that only new would do if I wanted to look professional in my new job, but who was I kidding! Oxfam has some fantastic second hand clothes, many are almost as good as new. They also have a great search function on the website, making it super quick and easy to find the style, brand and size that I want.

If you think that charity shopping only offers limited styles and you probably won’t find what you want, I challenge you to check out the Oxfam online shop, they have a massive amount of stock.

Oxf

Floral dress- originally from M&S

I am not sure I will wear this to work. It will probably work better for me for a going out dress! The stitching had come undone a little at the back, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed in about 5 mins with the sewing machine, making it good as new to wear.

Oxfam dress

This dress is definitely for work. Again it was originally from Marks and Spencers. I am a big M&S fan as the clothes just seem to fit me well and they are also good quality and last for ages.

vest top

vest top

Finally I invested in 2 new vest tops which are just great for wearing with jeans and a statement necklace or scrarf. The necklaces are from Ethical Super Store and Made UK.

It is only a few weeks to go now until I get back to the coast in Newquay for some surfing followed by starting my new job. Lots to look forward to this summer! What are you looking forward to for summer?

With warmest wishes


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Charity Shop Dress – Oxfam

Oxfam dress and jacket

Dress – Oxfam
Denim jacket – a clothes swap
Shoes – Swedish Hasbeens
Necklace (Fair Trade) – Ethical Superstore

Oxfam dress

With spring finally here and some lovely warm weather, I felt the need to brighten up my wardrobe a little bit. Winter feels like it has been pretty dull nad dark and I was getting a definite craving for some colour. As I am trying to complete a no new clothes challenge during 2018, Oxfam was the perfect solution allowing me to refresh my wardrobe whilst avoiding something new and also recycling something old and providing a charitable donation.

I have probably raved about Oxfam before in the past but never mind I am going to do so again. Shopping online with Oxfam is perfect for someone like myself that wants to reduce their environmental footprint but doesn’t have time to trawl the charity shops. I find the Oxfam website really quick and easy to search and find what I want with lots of different filters to choose from including colour, size and brand. Oxfam also have a returns policy which is great if you are worried about whether an item will fit.

I have also treated myself to a few other items from Oxfam recently incluisng a spotty dress for work and some vest tops to wear with jeans.Generally the challenge is going well and I have managed to stick to it completely up until now. I have however relaxed it a little bit wih regard to birthday presents, it would be a bit awkward and rude not to accept them!

The jacket that I am wearing is one of my favourites and came from a clothes swap through a clothes swap website that I used to run quite a few years ago. The shoes and necklaces were bought a few years ago and I am pleased to say have had lots of wear.

In other news, I have been pretty busy since I last posted. I have taken up a new hobby, surfing and also competed a refresher course for an old hobby, diving. I have been spending quite a bit of time in Cornwall and am loving being outdoors walking, surfing and diving.

I will be posting another update on my single use plastics soon. I have been finding this particularly challenging but have made some really postive steps forward which I can’t wait to share.

I hope you are enjoying the warmer weather. Do you feel the need to wear brighter clothes as we move into spring and summer?

With warmest wishes


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The Leopard Dress

DSCN5757 (3)

Leopard dress – Johari (a social enterprise in Kenya), I can no longer find the online store but you can read more about this brand here.
Organic cotton leggings – Thought
Shoes – Veja 
Scarf – Oxfam, then upcycled

A few weeks ago, we went out for a weekend walk followed by dinner at the local carvery. I decided to combine comfy shoes by Veja and organic cotton leggings with something bright and colourful to cheer me up. I have had more than enough of dark dull winter clothes and am feeling more than ready for spring.

It makes me happy to make good use of the clothes that I have instead of buying new each season. This leopard dress is 3 or 4 years old and I still love the easy to wear cut, the bright pink colour and the leopard face on it. I have tryed to give it a fresh look by adding the scarf from Oxfam that I upcycled with orange pom pom trim a while back. I love combining pink and orange, the combination definitely reminds me of holidays to tropical destinations!

Whilst buying less is a good way of minimising my impact on the environment, I have recently seen a few articles about plastic pollution that is probably an even bigger environmental issue than fashion.  Whilst I already try and avoid using plastic bags, I am determined to try and cut down on the plastic that I use in other ways. According to Plastic Oceans, we use over 300 million tonnes of new plastic every year.  Half of this we use just once and usually for less than 12 minutes.  8 million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the ocean every year. I am planning a post about the ways to reduce plastic use, if you have any ideas that I could include, please do get in touch.

I hope that you are having a lovely weekend and enjoying the sunshine, if you have any. What are your favourite clothes that you have owned for years?

With warmest wishes


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Charity Shop Outfit and Festival Survival

charity shop outfit

charity shop outfit

DSCN5239 (3)s

Dress – Oxfam
Denim and leather waistcoat – Oxfam
Beaded bag – People Tree
Boots – Minnetonka
Feather necklace and bracelet – presents

Wooden watch – JORD

Last weekend we went into town for food and I decided to wear some of the charity shop outfit that I recently treated myself to from Oxfam. I have been trying to limit the amount of new clothes that I buy but when I got some money for my birthday, I couldn’t resist treating myself to a few charity shop items to refresh my wardrobe. I managed to buy 5 new dresses and a denim waistcoat for under £90. Whilst buying from Oxfam online is not neccasserily quite as cheap as buying from a high street charity shop, it is still significantly cheaper than many fast fashion shops and the quality of the clothes is much better (if you choose carefully). There is also an amazing selection of clothes and the online search facility makes it really quick and easy for me to find what I want by searching by item, size, colour, brand and decade for vintage. Also, I really want to support the vital work that Oxfam do around the world and buying second hand is a more sustainable option than buying new.

The denim waistcoat has leather panels and I love it for layering over lots of different dresses but thought it went well with this white dress for a layered boho look. It also seemed like the perfect opportunity to get some more wear out of the Minnetonka boots that I got for my birthday. Lady decided to photo bomb, she definitely loves being the centre of attention!

Finally summer has arrived and Glastonbury this weekend signals the beginnng of festival season. I am not sure where I am glad or sorry not to be going to Glastonbury this with the traffic and mud, I think our old campervan, Roberta would definitely find it a challenge. We do have a few other options up our sleeve for the summer though. If you have never been to a festival, I would definitely recommend it, it is a lot of fun and there are so many different options to choose from. You can check out the Festival Survival Guide that I have just written for Oxfam Fashion here.

What are you doing this weekend? Have a lovely time!

With warmest wishes


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Vintage Fashion – Seventies Style

Oxfam Decades of Styleseventies maxi dress

Vintage dress – ebay
Vintage jacket – Rockit Vintage
Shoes – high street

I haven’t had much of an opportunity to wear my vintage clothes lately as I only seem to go out to work and exercise classes. But I have finally finished my CIM diploma in digital marketing and the building work and constant tidying of the house that it caused is also finished. I am hoping to start getting out and about a bit more in the spring giving me the chance to wear my vintage clothes again. I already have a few trips planned to vintage fairs as well as a weekend away.

I am also organising a birthday party for my 40th with a Woodstock theme so have been thinking about sixties/ seventies style and what to wear. I decided to try this vintage seventies dress on again although I don’t think it is my final choice of outfit. I think I will opt for something slightly more hippyish. I am also entering the Oxfam Fashion decades of vintage fashion and style competition.

I want to decorate the garden like a festival so will be spending the next few months scouring amazon and charity shops for the things I need. As it can get a little cold in the evening and I wanted to cover up the plastic chairs in the garden, I have invested in some crochet / knitted blankets from Oxfam. I have been obsessed with these blankets for a while and finally have an excuse to buy some. With Oxfam doing such great work, I am also always pleased to buy from them. After the party,they will also be great for the campervan and wrapping up on a cold evening. If you have any other ideas for a Woodstock themed party, please leave a comment below.

So now I have finally got my life back, I hope to be doing at lot more blogging as well as getting back up to date with Ethical Fashion Bloggers. Apologies to anyone who has emailed and I haven’t replied but I will do very soon.

Here are a few of my recent instagrams.

lady 5

Lady is looking fairly unimpressed by the building works!

extension

Finally the new extension is finished

mothers day

Mother’s Day treats

What have you been up to lately and what plans do you have for the spring?

With warmest wishes


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My Autumn/ Winter Sustainable Wardrobe Edit

autumn wardrobe edit

Last weekend, I managed to find time for my bi annual wardrobe edit. I usually swap spring / summer and autumn/ winter clothes around at the beginning of the season. This is a really good opportunity for me to have a much needed clear up and clear out as well as reminded myself exactly what I have. I was pleased to find that I have plenty of clothes for the season ahead, so no need to buy anything new. Although my autumn winter wardrobe is no where as colourful as my spring summer wardrobe, I do love that it is full of lovely soft layers with lots of opportunities to add a bit of colour and interest by accessorising with cosy scarves. Over the last few weeks, autumn has definitely arrived, here are some of the outfits that I wore to work last week, all from my existing wardrobe and sustainable fashion.

ethical fashion winter wardrobe editDress – Marks and Spencers (Made in Britain)
Jacket – Nancy Dee (Organic cotton, made in Britain)
Ankle boots – Made in Green (vegetable tanned leather)

The office can be particularly cold on a monday at this time of year so I chose to layer 2 supersoft fabrics for a really cosy and comfy outfit.

oxfam outfit

 Dress and cardigan – Oxfam Fashion
Necklace – Made UK (ethical brand)
Boots – as above

Over the years, I have found Oxfam’s online shop to be a great source of work dresses and knitwear. I am always amazed at the lovely clothes that people have given away because they no longer want them. I would always prefer to buy a higher quality brand second hand than cheap, badly made  fast fashion that falls apart after a few washes.
ethical fashion autumn

Cardigan – as above
Top – Sara C (bamboo, Made in Britain)
Trousers – M & S
Shoes – Clarks

Sara C has some amazing printed tops, which I think are great for adding a bit of colour and pattern to a dreary work outfit. I bought this one in the sale a few years ago.

nancy dee jacket

Jacket – Nancy Dee (Organic cotton, made in the UK)
Dress – SkunkFunk (organic cotton)
Shoes – as above
Satchel – Scaramanga (ethically made)

On Thursday, I had to go to London for a seminar. Whilst travelling, I always want to wear something comfy. I like to wear this Nancy Dee organic cotton jersey jacket as an alternative to a suit jacket as it is much easier to layer under a jacket. The satchel makes it easy to carry notepad etc.

DSCN4666 (2)Dress – Annie Greenabelle (organic cotton)
Leggings – People Tree
Scarf and cardigan – Nomads
Shoes – as above

Friday is usually a dress down day at work and this outfit is pretty much a staple for me on a friday, the organic cotton jersey is just so comfy to wear.

Here are just a few ideas I have had about being just a little more sustainable this autumn.

  • A seasonal wardrobe clearout is the best way to properly assess what you have and haven’t got and the best way to see if you really need to buy anything new and if so exactly where the gaps in your wardrobe are.
  • When in need of a few extra cosy layers for the colder weather, charity shops are a great place to start. You can often bag a high quality knit or even some cashmere at a fraction of the price it would cost new.
  • With the new charge for plastic bags, I have definitely been inspired to seek out more stylish alternatives for carrying my shopping, hoping that I will never have to use a plastic bag again.
  • Autumn is  a great time of year for cooking up wholesome hearty meals. I am going to try and source much more of the food for my family locally and also stick to more seasonal foods, starting by ordering an organic veg box. I’ll let you know how I get on!

Will you be making any changes for a more sustainable wardrobe or life this autumn?

With warmest wishes

An Upcycled Fashion Show

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Hat – Pachacuti
Jacket – upcycled from a vintage dressing gown
Fairtrade cotton vest top – Marks and Spencers
Necklace – Made
Jeggings – Oxfam
Shoes – Clarks
Bag – Reclaim Bags

On Saturday I took the girls over to Cribbs Causeway to check out the ‘Green is the New Black’ upcycled fashion show, an event organised by the St Vincent’s charity as part of Bristol Fashion Week. The fashion show featured some amazing upcycled fashion created by children from local Bristol schools. Of course I took the opportunity to wear an upcycled jacket that I created from a vintage kimono dressing gown with a bag by Reclaim mamde from recycled inner tubes. Unfortunately I had to leave my lovely Pachacuti hat behind in the car as the weather was atrocious and I was worried I might loose it in the wind.

Bristol Fashion Week

upcycled fashion show

 

Upcycled fashionIt is great to see so much interest in recycled fashion by school children (hopefully the future of the fashion industry) and I was genuinely impressed by the creations which included a dress made from a deconstructed suit and other pieces made using newspaper, crisp wrappers, upcycles scarves and ties and bottle tops. I definitely think upcycled fashion is a great choice especially if you like to look individual and stand out from the crowd.

I have been meaning to do more upcycling, especially since starting my no new clothes for a year challenge. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to do anything, strugging a bit for both ideas and time! This fashion show has definitely given me some great ideas, now I just need to make myself some time.

Do you have any good ideas or sources of inspiration for upcycled fashion? You can check out my ideas board on Pinterest here.

I hope you are having a fabulous start to the week and looking forward to the Easter break!

With warmest wishes

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